From the HBD Archive
From: polstra!jdp@hplabs.HP.COM (John Polstra)
Subject: Brewers Yeast (was: Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout)
Date: 1989-11-30 17:30:44 GMT

In HBD #313, jamesb@microsoft (Jim Broglio) writes:
> I was reading a Vegitarian Mag the other day, an article touting
> the wonderful benefits of Brewers yeast in your diet. The
> article mentioned a brewers yeast available at health food stores
> which is cultured without the characteristic malts and grains and
> thus tastes "Good".
> My question is..... Will this work to build a better brew?

It most likely won't build a brew of any sort whatsoever. The books I
have read all say that the "brewers yeast" which is sold as a food
product is deactivated (i.e., dead) and thus will not ferment anything.

> With all the different varieties of yeast available, German, British, etc
> how do I know where to start and what will go best with whatever??

The first distinction to consider, which I assume you already know
about, is the difference between ale yeasts and lager yeasts. Once you
get past that, it gets a lot more subtle. Still, there are some good
sources of information. Wyeast publishes a two- or three-page leaflet
with a paragraph of description about each of the yeasts that they
supply. Many homebrew supply shops have this and will give you a copy
if you ask for it. (Jim, I know that the Cellar in Seattle has this.)
Also, check out the latest issue of Zymurgy -- the 1989 "special" issue.
The entire issue is about yeast, and there is at least one article
describing the characteristics of the different yeast strains available
to homebrewers. If you don't subscribe to Zymurgy, you can buy it at
the better homebrew supply shops.

Joining your local homebrew club is a great way to learn about yeasts
quickly, because you can taste a lot of brews and ask which yeast was
used in each case. After enough of this, your brain will begin to form
associations between flavors and yeast strains.

Finally, don't worry about it too much. The most important thing is to
avoid the really bad yeast brands. (The 3 worst brands are Red Star,
Red Star, and Red Star, in that order ;-)

- John Polstra jdp@polstra.UUCP
Polstra & Co., Inc. ...{uunet,sun}!practic!polstra!jdp
Seattle, WA (206) 932-6482

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